how to make a rainbow

Making a rainbow is a fun early years science activity for children to learn about the weather and how light behaves. It can also be linked to a range of other rainbow related activities including literacy, art and music.

Making real rainbows

On a sunny day it is easy to make a rainbow using a fine mist of water for children to see.

You will need

A Hosepipe that can spray a fine mist or a spray bottle

Rainbows are really easy to make

Turn away from the sun and spray a mist of water into the air. You may need to experiment a little to find the best way to spray the water to get a rainbow.

EYFS rainbows

The science

The tiny droplets of water bends the light. The light is made up of lots of different colours and each colour bends slightly differently so they separate out to form a rainbow.Violet light is bent the most and red the least.

The colours of the rainbow are:

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet

Can your children remember these colours? Rainbow art is a fun way to help remember the colours.

rainbow crayon art

Rainbow Crayon Art

This is a great way to write a secret message to a friend or just for drawing a picture with a difference. We drew a rainbow behind a cloud to illustrate how it works.

You will need

White paper or card
Crayons or water based paint

Here’s how

Draw a cloud using white crayon.

Draw a rainbow over your cloud using coloured crayons.

The cloud should stay white even though it has been coloured over.

You can also used water based paints to paint a rainbow over the cloud

Additional activities

For an early literacy activity, children can write a word or secret message in white crayon before colouring or painting over to reveal it. You could also try writing simple words in white crayon for children to paint over to reveal and read.

This post was written by Emma of Science Sparks

emmavEmma is a busy Mum to three who is passionate about science education. You can find Emma’s experiments and activities over at Science Sparks which is full  of fun, creative and engaging science based activities for children of all ages, perfect for home or school. Find out more at Science Sparks



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